Amid Pandemic, Honor Guard Pays Tribute On Holiday
CASSADAGA — Members of the Cassadaga American Legion Post 1280 Honor Guard, using military like precision, visited a dozen cemeteries Monday in recognition of Memorial Day.
Sporting blue face masks and standing 6 feet apart, the Honor Guard made sure the coronavirus pandemic would not put a stop to a decades-long tradition of paying tribute to military personnel who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.
Members drove to each cemetery, lined up and performed a 21-gun salute. A prayer was also said during each ceremony.
In past years, the group would visit each location using a bus; however, the pandemic forced the Honor Guard to travel individually.
“We’re going to be doing what we always do, which is get the guys together,” said Karl Lawson, local Honor Guard chairman, during an interview last week.
“The guys will be wearing masks. Normally we stand one arm’s length apart, which is about 2-3 feet. This year will be two arm’s lengths. We will still be practicing social distancing,” Lawson added.
Stops on Monday included Charlotte Center Cemetery, Burnham Hollow Cemetery, Christian Cemetery, Bachellor Hill Cemetery, Stockton Evergreen Cemetery, Stockton Greenwood Cemetery, Oregon Cemetery at Centralia Corners, Red Bird Cemetery, Gerry Cemetery, Sinclairville Cemetery, Pickett Corners Cemetery and ended at the Cassadaga Cemetery.
“It’s to honor those who have served in the U.S. military, especially for those who gave their lives for this country, and to me and the rest of us it’s very important,” Lawson said.